Coast Salish Territory, Vancouver, BC - This week the First Nations Health Authority (FNHA) launched a new health benefits plan with expanded coverage for dental and vision care, and simplified access to medical supplies and equipment.
The transition to a new benefits provider completes FNHA's goal of separating itself from the federal Non-Insured Health Benefits (NIHB) program in order to focus on the requirements of BC First Nations in the spirit of self-determination. The new plan will be administered on behalf of the FNHA by BC-based benefits provider Pacific Blue Cross.
The biggest improvement that clients will notice right away will be faster service thanks to the elimination of pre-approvals for many benefits such as reimbursements for prescription glasses, dentures and hearing aids.
The plan has been designed based on existing coverage with additional coverage for several preventive health services and major services.
Coverage for dental services is now aligned with the provincial dental fee guide with a simplified reimbursement process, this means First Nations Health Authority clients will pay less upfront for standard dental work.
The new plan can be accessed through the Pacific Blue Cross App so clients can see what benefits are covered. Details about how to access the new program are available at www.FNHA.ca/benefits. Clients can create an online profile using their status number at www.pac.bluecross.ca/fnhaclient, or use the Pacific Blue Cross mobile app to easily access their benefits. Claiming by mail is still available for clients living in remote areas.
A comprehensive approach was undertaken to involve First Nations and service providers in plan design, including 51 focus groups with First Nations communities across BC. The new plan is the second and final phase of the FNHA transition off the NIHB Program. Phase one was the transfer of non-insured pharmacy benefits to BC PharmaCare Plan W in October 2017.
Clients with questions may contact FNHA Health Benefits at 1.855.550.5454.
Organizations available for comment:
BC Dental Association – Cary Chan email@example.com or 604.714.1988
BC Pharmacy Association – Angie Gaddy firstname.lastname@example.org or 604.269.2863
Pacific Blue Cross – Carol Boutin email@example.com
To find out more about First Nations Health Authority, visit: http://www.fnha.ca/
For media enquires please call 604-831-4898, or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Download this new release in PDF format here (PDF 883 KB)